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Jan 10, 2014 12:17 PM

How to clean cast iron skillet without having to reseason

Hello everyone! I have been selecting items for my wedding registry and have been regularly reading the posts on this site for advice on what selections I should has been so incredibly helpful! The one question I have that I can't seem to find a specific answer to is how to clean a seasoned cast iron skillet after cooking on it, without having to scour it, remove the season, and then reseason. Or should I plan on reseasoning with the oil/oven process every single time I cook with the pan? I guess I'm just confused because whenever I search for "how to clean cast iron" I only find answers for how to restore old skillets and reseason them. I'd like to know if once a good season is established if I can simply clean up after a meal without reseasoning, and how to do it.

Also, if I purchase a preseasoned pan, should I season it several times before I try cooking in it? Or is the season that arrives on the pan from the manufacturer good enough to just jump into cooking with it? I hope I'm making sense in what I'm asking here, sorry if I'm making this way more confusing than it needs to be!

If it helps at all, I was looking at registering for a 12" Lodge skillet, and can't tell from the item description if this one is even preseasoned or not.

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  1. When an iron pan is well-seasoned, it cleans up easily with just hot water and a nylon scrub pad, unless exceptionally greasy. A fter washing, put on the heat for half a minute and wipe with a paper towel. This ensures that it is clean and dry.

    If I have a lot of grease in the pan, I will add one or two drops of dishwashing liquid and soak for just a minute, then finish cleaning with hot water as above. This does not hurt the seasoning.

    It's getting to "well-seasoned" that is the hard part.

    1. What do you plan on using the pan for? There are TONS of threads here on CI, just have a search and you'll get more info than you can read...

      FWIW, a 12" skillet is huge and heavy. I have a 9" as my everyday pan and it's plenty big enough. Go to the store, pick one up. Then add something to it to give you an idea of how heavy it will be when it's full. Unless you're doing CFS for a mess of ranch hands, I would re-think the size.

      You might need to do some initial work with the Lodge to get it where you want it, but once it's well-seasoned, you shouldn't need to do anything more than a hot water rinse and a wipe with an oiled paper towel after it's used. (I think all Lodge comes pre-seasoned, but not everyone agrees on whether that is sufficient. LIke I said, tons of threads already here about it. )

      I wipe mine with a damp paper towel, set it back on the heat until I know it's dry, then give it a wipe with a few drops of oil. That's all the cleaning it gets. And my eggs slide off it.
      Congrats on your wedding!!

      3 Replies
      1. re: tacosandbeer

        That is a really good point regarding the weight of the 12 inch...I will go with the 9 inch for sure! Thanks!

        1. re: michellenelli

          I have both and love both. I've taken to making my cornbread in the larger one. I like how you get more crispy ratio in the 12 inch pan.

          1. re: Becca Porter

            If you want crispy ratio, try their wedge skillet or the drop biscuit pan ;)

      2. If you click on the details for that pan, it says "Soy-based, kosher-certified vegetable oil coating gives a natural nonstick finish."

        I have a Lodge pre-seasoned grill pan and I clean it by generously sprinkling cheap table salt on it and scrubbing with a wet scrubby sponge. If you do this, plan on devoting that scrubby for that lone purpose.

        1. You only reseason if the seasoning is not good, not after every use.

          If you use soap to wash, apply a thin layer of oil with a paper towel to the cooking surface (not the walls) after every wash.

          1. All current Lodge is pre-seasoned. A good alternative is, nickle coated cast iron that does not need seasoning.